07 March 2024

Lee Kershaw: I’d never been to London in my life before Broncos move

07 March 2024

London Broncos winger Lee Kershaw says the daunting prospect of squaring up to world champions Wigan this weekend pales compared with the challenges of self-sufficiency and spin-cycles.

The 24-year-old winger landed at the newly-promoted Super League club in February following an uncertain period as a free agent, after being released by relegated Wakefield at the end of last season.

It has proved a major culture shock for Kershaw, who still lived at home with his parents in Bradford, and had never previously visited the capital bar a fleeting visit to watch the Bantams in a play-off final.

“It’s been a big step, moving out and becoming self-sufficient, and I’m having to learn quickly,” Kershaw, who is currently living close to the Broncos’ training base at Rosslyn Park, told the PA news agency.

“I haven’t tried to wash my whites yet, and I haven’t got an ironing board, but I’m quite a good cook, and my partner will be down in a couple of weeks so she will help me sort myself out.

“I’d never been to London in my life, except to literally get on and off a coach at Wembley. We always used to go on holiday to Bridlington or Blackpool. So it’s been very different but I’m enjoying it.”

Kershaw’s problems finding a new club in the close season came as a surprise given some stand-out performances in a struggling Wakefield side, not least the swashbuckling, length-of-field tries that have become his trademark.

After leaving Belle Vue, Kershaw briefly revelled in his status as a free agent, working a few bar shifts and training with Leeds Rhinos before it slowly dawned on him that he could be left without a club for the start of the new campaign.

“I properly lost my head one night, when my agent and London were talking,” he added. “I’d been pretty cool up to that point but I knew games were coming and I just didn’t want to miss any of them.

“Ever since I started, I’ve always committed to just playing rugby. It’s all I wanted to be and it’s all I want to be at the moment. What I am is a rugby player.”

Ever since I stated, I've always committed to just playing rugby. It's all I wanted to be and it's all I want to be at the moment. What I am is a rugby player

Arguably Kershaw’s highlight in 2023 was bursting onto a spilled pass by Bevan French to score a try that helped seal his side’s stunning golden-point win over Wigan in July, allowing them to briefly court hopes of top-flight survival.

London showed encouraging signs in last week’s close loss to Hull, and for all his hesitancy with domestic matters, Kershaw is convinced history can repeat itself when they come up against Matt Peet’s newly-crowned world champions on Saturday in Wimbledon.

“I can’t think of any game that I don’t go into thinking we can win,” added Kershaw. “I could be in any team, playing against anyone. I’d say it’s almost delusional.

“Wigan are one of the best teams in the world but I still feel the same way.

“I’ll watch the videos and listen to the coaches and every game I’ll think we’re going to go out and do this. But then you end up getting a few minutes in and realising how tough it’s going to be.”

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